Thursday, February 08, 2007

Richard Caborn Continues Call For Lower Ticket Prices

Richard Caborn, Minister for Sports, continued his call for lower ticket prices yesterday. His statement in full is below:-

"When I first watched Sheffield United with my dad more than 50 years ago, I was instantly hooked. But back then the cost of a lifetime of loyalty was only a fraction of what you pay today.

Of course things have moved on, and football today is very different. Mainly for the better I have to say. As a fan, it’s great to see the best players in the world come to Bramall Lane. As Sports Minister I want the Premiership to grow and grow, cementing its place as the world’s top league. But not at any cost.

Excesses have crept into the game which need to be kept in check. Sky-high ticket prices are just one example of that. I am meeting with all the Premier League chairmen today to discuss how I believe football needs to change to meet the challenges it faces from growing commercialism. I do it because I believe football is more than just a business.

You can’t just bring in the principles of industry and apply them in the same way to sport. Sport is special and fans who spend their hard-earned cash on travelling the country with their team will always be the beating heart of football. Clubs must never forget that.

The Premier League and its clubs are where they are today because of you, the fans. As the game grows it must not leave its roots behind. The new money coming into the game is a fantastic opportunity for football. It shouldn’t just go into the pockets of players and agents.

The Premier League is to be congratulated for making nearly £40m of this new money available every year for investment into the grassroots. But the price of tickets is becoming a barrier for some fans. That is why I applaud Blackburn’s decision to use the new TV money to cut ticket prices.

Other clubs, even those who sell out week in week out, should consider following Blackburn’s lead and provide at least some tickets at an affordable price for local fans and their families.

Politicians like me shouldn’t be running football, but I do have the responsibility to tell them when I think they need to change. Today I will do that because, while players and chairmen come and go, you the fans will always be there."


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